My first custom PC

Hi everybody, I'm about to try building a PC for the first time. I'm going for something that's portable and cheap(<400 USD) and that I can use to play non-cutting-edge games (maybe StarCraft II or Diablo III on low settings). I spent the day looking at parts and here's what I've come up with:

CPU(&GPU): AMD A6-3500 llano APU ($60)
Motherboard: AsRock A75M FM2 ITX ($90)
Case: minibox M350 ($40)
PSU: picoPSU 150xt power supply kit (PSU and external power brick are sold bundled for $70)
8 GB ram, and a cheap HDD (~$100?)
No optical

I would have gone for a more recent Trinity APU if the asrock FM2 itx board didn't get such crappy reviews- a lot of people are complaining that they explode, and the only other itx FM2 board I could find was a zotac that cost 130 bucks (while the asrocks go for 90)

So I'd like to hear from people who have PC building experience- does this look like a good setup? Does it look like it would even work? Thanks in advance
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  1. Looks fine to me. I would recommend a Western Digital, Seagate, or Toshiba for and HDD.

    Make sure to get low profile RAM such as this.

    However, not all FM2 boards are bad. Here is a revised build.
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD A8-5500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($94.49 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Asus F2A55-M LK PLUS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($47.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung Spinpoint M8 500GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $257.46
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-23 14:33 EST-0500)

    Then add your case to this.
  2. Thanks for the reply!

    Yeah I'm thinking of maybe ditching that case, so I'm not restricted to a mini ITX board (or the expensive PSU). Here's an alternate build I put together today:

    CPU: AMD A10 5800k (
    MOBO: MSI FM2 A55 mATX (
    RAM: G.Skill ripjaws 2x4gb DDR3 2133 (
    HDD: 500gb Seagate (
    PSU: Antec Basiq 350w (

    I was reading that for APUs your RAM speed becomes a lot more important than when you have a dGPU- do you think the RAM I picked out will work out well? The mobo specs say it can handle 2133 if overclocked, and I've never messed around with overclocking RAM before (or anything else); does it take a lot of tweaking or is it a simple matter of making 1 or 2 changes to the BIOS?
  3. RAM speed does make more of a difference with the APU's. To be honest, I wouldn't go with an MSI board, as sometimes they have issues. The Asus I posted earlier is a quality board.

    Additionally, I would go with at least a 400 watt power supply, especially if you plan on overclocking you CPU, which I imagine you would since you posted the 5800k.
  4. Yeah i saw the reviews on newegg, quite a few posts about the MSI needing to be sent back, but I'm buying this with amazon gift money and amazon doesn't have that Asus board, or any good looking FM2 matx boards that aren't $100+. So I guess I'll just roll the dice on the MSI- they seem good about sending out replacements at least. All the complaints i've read are about the board pooping out or being DOA, so hopefully it won't take the apu out with it if anything happens

    And I originally just chose the unlocked CPU because it's 15 bucks cheaper, I hadn't given any thought to overclocking, how fast do you think I'd have to push it before the 350w becomes inadequate?

    EDIT: ah hell I'm an idiot, they do have it on amazon! Thanks for the suggestion, I think I'll go with the Asus instead!
  5. You could probably overclock it to any stable clock speed with out maxing out your PSU, but it is stressful on it, and causes it to constantly run at higher temperatures, thus causing shorter life span. I just think you would be better off with a little bigger PSU.
    If you go with that exact build, it would be about 210 watts at first, but it starts to climb quickly with over clocking.
  6. Good to know... yeah I guess for an extra 10 bucks it'll be nice to have the option

    OK cool, I think I'm going to order the parts, thanks again for all your advice!
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